Mastering Fingered Octaves

In our prior lessons (here, here, here, here) , we delved into the idea of an adaptable hand frame and expanded our reach on the fingerboard. Now, let’s discuss fingered octaves, building upon the skills we have acquired from the previous suggested exercises.

After diligently practicing the exercises from our previous lessons, you may find that becoming proficient in fingered octaves is a relatively straightforward process. This is because the finger patterns we have previously practiced are the same ones we use in fingered octaves. Let’s take a look at these exercises:

Again, make sure to simultaneously place the 3rd finger on its correct spot on the string when playing the 4th in every second bar of each repeated exercise. The first finger is touching the fingerboard only lightly and never leaves the string.

The patterns in these exercises are the same we use in fingered octaves. The only difference is the 1st and 2nd finger are placed one string lower than the 3rd and 4th finger. The 1st finger touches the fingerboard only lightly and, together with the 3rd finger, never leaves the string! Practice this exercise:

As you practice fingered octaves, pay close attention to finger placement, intonation, and hand position. Maintain a relaxed and balanced hand, allowing your fingers to drop naturally onto the fingerboard. Focus on achieving a clear sound and precise finger coordination as you transition between the 1st and 3rd finger and the 2nd and 4th finger. Leave you 1st and 3rd finger on the string at all times, touching the fingerboard lightly.

Start the exercises in this lesson from randomly chosen notes all across the fingerboard.

Okay, that’s it for now. Practice these exercises 5 minutes a day for a few months. Be creative with them to keep your mind engaged and direct your focus deliberately to different aspects of playing (intonation/sound production/musical expression/physical sensations:posture/relaxation etc.).